Age Range: 14 & up
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This overambitious addition to Fat Lit follows four morbidly obese New York City–area teens who sign up to undergo a clinical trial for Lap-Band weight-loss surgery. In alternating chapters, the quartet—Marcie, living with her recently divorced mother and seemingly perfect cheerleader-captain stepsister; Bobby, whose father wants him to follow in his college-football and family-business footsteps; East, of Japanese ancestry and still grieving for her father, who committed suicide; and Char, who always hides her real feelings—relate their time before and after surgery and how they confront the real issues behind their weight gain in a support group, dubbed Teenage Waistland (after The Who lyrics). Melodrama takes over the novel as the teens also face guilt, family secrets, squashed dreams, lost identities, gender stereotypes, new romance, abortion and not one but two deaths. Lengthy dialogue turns into informational and instructive lessons on Lap-Band surgery and how patients fail and succeed with it. The lone attempt at humor—a dildo-buying expedition—fizzles out. Possibly more than its characters, this story suffers from excess. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73921-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2010